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Governor cancels study on state water supplies

SPRINGFIELD – Plans for state scientists to study underground water supplies in the Champaign area and around the state went down the drain Tuesday, when Gov. Rod Blagojevich vetoed a bill calling for the survey.

"While I support the study of the state's groundwater supply as a comprehensive and long-term approach to water supply management in Illinois, due to the state's diminishing revenues, we do not have the money available to fund the study at this time," the governor said.

Champaign firm buys Argus assets

CHAMPAIGN – PitBull has a new master.

The security software with the canine name was developed by Savoy-based Argus Systems Group to protect computer operating systems and keep electronic transactions secure.

Judge denies lawyer's bid to leave murder case

DANVILLE – When Camerun Blaylock stands trial a second time for the 1993 murder of a Tilton man, he will be represented by the same attorney who put on his first defense.

Circuit Judge Dale Cini of Mattoon on Monday denied Richard Doyle's request to be dismissed from the case, citing the Danville attorney's familiarity with the now 9 ½ -year-old case.

Entries sought for Georgetown arts show

GEORGETOWN – Amateur artists and photographers are being encouraged to display their work at the Georgetown Fair, scheduled for Aug. 3-9 this year.

New categories and rules have been established this year for the fine arts show and prize money is available for first through fifth places, plus Best of Show.

Murder-suicide suspected in crash

ST. JOSEPH – Two men were killed Monday in a series of crashes on Interstate 74 that followed the murders of a Danville couple.

Champaign County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Fabian said this morning that the case is still under investigation, but is being handled as a murder-suicide, based on statements from eyewitnesses and evidence collected at the scene of the crashes just east of St. Joseph.

Blagojevich signs consent bill into law

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich recently signed a new law to ensure that when someone says no to sexual activity, it means no, even if he or she said yes earlier.

State Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa, who sponsored the legislation, said the new law is needed because a statute similar to Illinois' current law has been the subject of debate in California courts.

Suit against UI seeks more than $3 million

SPRINGFIELD – The state and federal governments are suing the University of Illinois for more than $3 million, alleging fraud in the liver transplant program at the university's hospital in Chicago.

Two similar suits against Northwestern University and the University of Chicago were settled Monday. Neither admitted any wrongdoing or liability, but Northwestern agreed to pay almost $23,600, and the University of Chicago will pay $115,000.

Future building blocks

Coal ash, a waste product now, may be poised to become a high-quality building product in the form of bricks and concrete blocks in the wake of work by local researchers.

The scientists at the Illinois State Geological Survey, based at the University of Illinois, have been researching bricks made from the fly ash of burned Illinois coal for about four years and recently saw them enter full-scale production testing.

Local Alzheimer's office closed in spring

CHAMPAIGN – After several years of coping long-distance with her mother's memory loss, Ginny Sims decided to move her from Arkansas to Champaign in 2000.

Inez Sims, now 78, first showed memory lapses in 1991, shortly after her husband died, and "it just got progressively more difficult," said Ginny Sims, a graphic designer at the University of Illinois Counseling Center.

Scouring the community for services to help her mother, Sims found the Champaign office of the Alzheimer's Association in the phone book and promptly went over to pick up a packet of materials. Through the staff, she hooked up with a caregiver support group and found a doctor who accurately diagnosed her mother's Alzheimer's disease and prescribed medications that "helped tremendously."

New meal plan at UI lets students be 'picky' eaters

While living in Hopkins residence hall, junior Bryan Pulido often ran out of meals for the week or failed to have enough to treat friends visiting from his hometown Gurnee.

Both problems could be solved with a new meal plan offered this fall.